You are here

Sustainable Development Goals

The CSO have released the latest in their Sustainable Development Goal Series.  SDG Goal 8 seeks to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The CSO monitor and report on Ireland’s progress in achieving these targets, in this case, using 12 targets and 16 indicators as set out by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from the United Nations (UN).  

According to Globescan Sustainability Survey of 500 experts representing business, goverment, NGOs and academia across 75 countries, Climate Change is the most urgent of the 17 SDGs. Unfortunately, Ireland continues to lag behind our EU15 peers in addressing this crisis.

According to a new report from the CSO, improvements are needed in Ireland’s waste water treatment to meet safety standards.


Ireland ranks 11th out of 15 comparable EU countries in this year’s Sustainable Progress Index, commissioned by Social Justice Ireland.  The index comprises three dimensions: economy, society and environment.  Ireland is ranked 10th out of the 15 countries on the economy.  On the social index, Ireland is in the middle of the ranking, in 6th place.  Ireland, however, scores last on the environment index which suggests we are facing significant challenges in meeting our environmental targets.   Delivering on the Programme for Government commitments on climate action becomes even more important as a result of these findings.

Without a fairer system of international finance, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved. Total financial outflows from poorer countries currently exceed overseas aid by a ratio of 5:1.


The CSO has just published ‘Ireland's UN SDGs 2019 - Report on Indicators for Goal 4 Quality Education’.  The CSO report monitors how Ireland is progressing towards meeting its targets under the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  It examines three key areas, Childhood Education, Adult Education and Education Infrastructure.

The effects of COVID-19 will take the heaviest toll on the most vulnerable, both nationally and internationally.  The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a series of 17 high level goals based on 169 targets and over 230 indicators can provide a framework to refocus efforts towards policies to directly help people and communities in the long run and to provide a pathway out of poverty.  In our latest policy briefing, we look at Ireland's progress towards the SDGs and provide a series of policy recommendations to improve it.

The commitment to using wellbeing indicators alongside economic indicators in the Programme for Government is welcome.  Creating a sustainable Ireland requires the adoption of new indicators to measure progress. To reflect this, the wellbeing indicators that the new Government has committed to developing must include new indicators measuring both wellbeing and sustainability in society, to be used alongside measures of national income like GDP, GNP and GNI.

A vibrant economy is most important if Ireland is to produce a fairer future for all.  To secure such a future requires us to learn from our mistakes in the past.   Solid policies are required that secure the best future for all. 

As we look towards the future and rebuilding our society and our economy the new Government must consider how we can ensure that our recovery package and investment priorities post COVID-19 help us build a sustainable society and economy, and also move us towards a just transition and meeting our climate targets by 2030.

Pages